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Homicide Herault: New Mystery

Homicide Herault, the latest mystery by Bluette Matthey

Author Guest Post + Book & Author Info + Giveaway!

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Homicide Herault

Homicide HeraultVeteran trekker Hardy Durkin takes his first bike tour group to Béziers, in the South of France, for what is expected to be relaxing, uneventful bicycling in the Hérault region. This notion is kicked to the curb when a double cold-case with present-day repercussions is discovered on one of the group’s outings. Hardy becomes embroiled in another homicide when he is present at a murder that takes place during an innocent flamenco performance that is anything but.

The bottom line: murder and intrigue follow Hardy Durkin like a shadow, even in the sunny, laid-back South of France, but this time his wheel of fortune veers uncomfortably off the rails in Homicide Hérault.

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Blue Shutter Publishing
Publication Date: December 2022
Number of Pages: 199
ISBN13: 978-1-941611-20-3
Series: Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery Series Book 6 | Each is a Stand Alone Mystery

To purchase Homicide Herault, ciick on any of the following links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | | Goodreads | Smashwords

Guest Post — Homicide Herault by Bluette Matthey

Every town has a story to tell.

When I decide the setting for my next Hardy Durkin Travel mystery I research the locale’s history, lore, and legends.  Was someone martyred there?  Is the area known for a murder or scandal of some sort?  Any unsolved disappearances?  Is there a local tradition that makes it unique or quirky?

My latest Hardin Durkin mystery, Homicide Herault, is set in the Herault area in the South of France.  The small city of Béziers is the primary town here and the oldest city in France.  (Second oldest, if you ask someone from Marseille.)  It is simply loaded with history from as far back as the 6th century BC, and is a land full of legends, atrocities, and culture.

During the Algerian War of Independence from France in the early 1960’s many of the French citizens who had been living and working in Algeria moved back to the Motherland.  Those Algerians fighting for independence violently targeted their countrymen who had worked for the French, massacring whole Algerian families in horrific ways as payback for the support they had shown the French military.  Thousands of these hunted Algerians, known as Harkis, fled to mainland France to escape the terrible purge, settling in the southern regions of France.

My favorite Béziers legend is that of Saint Aphrodise who rode into town on his camel from Egypt around 65 AD.  Just around the corner from the ancient Roman amphitheater, which was mostly torn down in the 3rd century so the citizens could use the stones to build up the city’s defense …. that’s another story… is a small plaza, Place Saint-Cyr, at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue Canterelles.  You might notice the small brass caps on the pavement that say ‘Chemin Romeux’.  This was part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, but I digress.

Look Up!  See that headless stone figure on the corner of the building?  That is Saint Aphrodise.  Why is he there, you ask?  Because … he was beheaded in the square where you are standing, and his head tossed in a well nearby.  Not one to give up easily, the good saint fetched his head from the well and proceeded to carry it back to his cave on the outskirts of town.  He is known as a cephalophore, a subset of saints who carry their heads after martyrdom.

Passing down what is now the Rue des Têtes, the Street of Heads, he was mocked by a group of stone masons who were turned to stone when Aphrodise stared them down (you can’t make this up!) with the head cradled in his arms.

It all ended well, with Saint Aphrodise being venerated in his tomb which is now a basilica where his relics repose, and his camel became a celebrity with the rich folks in town vying to take care of him.  A dubious replica of said camel appears each April on the saint’s day to be paraded through town as part of the celebration.

Béziers hosts the largest festival in the South of France each August, the Feria, replete with flamenco, bullfights, street foods, and non-stop, out-door concerts.  Almost a million people pour into the city over the span of a week to party and celebrate good times in a safe, family-friendly atmosphere with a laid-back Mediterranean vibe.

Into all this I insert my hunky protagonist, Hardy Durkin, who is leading a bike tour in the Herault with his irregular cast of characters and let the magic of imagination stir the pot.  Expect a murder … or two.  Enjoy the show!

Bluette Matthey — Author of Homicide Herault

Homicide Herault

Bluette Matthey is a 3rd generation Swiss American and an avid lover of European cultures. She has decades of travel and writing experience.

She is a keen reader of mysteries, especially those that immerse the reader in the history, inhabitants, culture, and cuisine of new places. Her passion for travel, except airports (where she keeps a mystery to pass the time), is shared by her husband, who owned a tour outfitter business in Europe. Bluette particularly loves to explore regions that are not on the “15 days in Europe” itineraries. She also enjoys little-known discoveries, such as the London Walks, in well-known areas.

She firmly believes that walking and hiking bring her closer to the real life of any locale. Bluette maintains a list of hikes and pilgrimages throughout Europe for future exploration.

Bluette is the author of the Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery series, author and developer of the South-of-France travel app, Potty Poche, and her latest mystery, Two Murders Too Many. She lives in Béziers in the South of France, with her husband and trio of loving cats.

To learn more about Bluette, click on any of the following links:, Goodreads, BookBub – @notyourusualtrek, Instagram – @notyourusualtrek, Twitter – @HardyDurkin & Facebook

Visit all the Stops on the Tour!

homicide Herault

02/07 Interview @ Hott Books
02/08 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
02/09 Showcase @ fuonlyknew
02/13 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
02/14 Review @ Review Thick & Thin
02/15 Podcast interview @ Blog Talk Radio
02/15 Review @ Just Reviews
02/16 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
02/17 Showcase @ Im Into Books
02/21 Review @ sunny island breezes
02/22 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
02/22 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
02/23 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
03/03 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read

Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio.

Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery



The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook. Amazon #1 bestseller

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Wendy B

    Wow, very interesting guest post! Thanks.

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